Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Number 10 in My Story

     Part 10---Fearless Trust in God

     Sheila had finally woken up at around noon.  She felt sluggish and saddened by the fact that no one back home knew she was alive.  They all went down to Turn The Page and went in the back for some coffee and brunch, after saying hello to Mrs. Bartholomew.  Mr. Bartholomew was a bit cheerier today.  He still had gruffness in his voice, but at least he smiled.  "Good afternoon.  How are you young people today?", Mr. Bartholomew asked.  They all greeted him back with "good" and "fine", and asked the same.  Mr. Bartholomew told them he was having a great day and asked them what they wanted.  Sheila tried to hide the fact that she felt alone because of the thought that no one back home knew she still existed.  Drew cocked his head towards her, with a questioning look.  Sheila ate quietly, then excused herself to the bookstore.  She loved old books and went browsing in the antique books.  Drew let her go, without a word.  The others didn't notice at first.  Pastor Manuel looked at Drew, then toward Sheila, and kept silent.  Drew and Manuel didn't know what was bothering her, but they knew she needed time alone...to think.  Sheila looked at all the books in awe.  As she was looking, she got tears in her eyes.  She remembered Psalm 27:10, "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up".  There was no abandonment issue as far as her parents leaving her, but they had no clue where she was and it seemed they gave up hope of her being alive...and it hurt.  But then she thought of Drew and how, because of drugs, his parents did abandoned him.

     She saw Mrs. Bartholomew coming up to her and she smiled at her.  "Hey, Mrs. Bartholomew, these books are amazing!"  She tried to hide her tears, but Mrs. Bartholomew saw right through Sheila.  "Can I help you with something?  Anything...at all?", she asked Sheila.  Sheila tried to hide her feelings, but it wasn't working.  "What is the oldest book in your collection?", Sheila asked.  She carefully looked through her books and found the oldest she had.  "Here it is.  1599 Geneva Bible", Mrs. Bartholomew showed Sheila.  Sheila looked astonished at her and opened it carefully and turned to Psalm 27.  Mrs. Bartholomew noticed and smiled.  "The Psalms are my favorite.  My husband and I read them together every night before going to sleep", Mrs. Bartholomew shared with Sheila, hoping to open her up and talk about what was bothering her. "Is this the original?", Sheila asked.  The lady nodded.  Sheila's eyes widened and she smiled.  "I've been studying Psalm 27 for some time", Sheila admitted.  Sheila read Psalm 27 from that Bible.  She was amazed at verse 10.  In this verse it said, "Though my father and mother should forsake me, yet the Lord will gather me up".  Sheila was comforted to know that the Bible was indeed timeless, and God has not changed.  "Thank you, Mrs. Bartholomew".  Sheila couldn't very well confide in Mrs. Bartholomew about what was really going on, but she knew that the lady would listen.  And it was good to know that she was a Christian.  Mrs. Bartholomew spoke again.  "We go to the little Baptist church right there on the corner", as she pointed down the street on the west side of her shop.  "Come join us Sunday", she invited.  Sheila smiled.  "We will, thank you".

     Sheila went back to the coffee shop.  The guys were just about ready to look around the bookstore, when Sheila arrived at the table.  Drew asked, "Are you OK?"  Sheila smiled.  "I'm better", she told him.  Sheila shared with her friends of Mrs. Bartholomew's faith.  Then she looked at Drew with compassion and asked him, "How do you go on, knowing that your parents have abandoned you?"  Drew was surprised at the question.  He thought for a minute, and remembered Psalm 27:10 also.  He quoted it to her, then asked, "What is this all about?  You haven't been abandoned".  She told them what she shared with Mrs. Bartholomew.  Drew had not thought about the abandonment in a couple of years, but he was all of a sudden saddened.  They drove to the motel and talked about it.  Drew wondered about the fact that his parents didn't care enough about him to stop doing drugs.  When he was younger he wondered also and his aunt counselled him.  The pastor asked him, "Have you forgiven them Drew"?  He didn't know for sure.  But Drew also didn't understand why Sheila felt abandoned, even though she explained.  Anger welled up in him, that Sheila or Kyle had never seen in him.  "How can you feel abandoned, when your parents took care of you?  They haven't left you"?!, he shouted.  He then realized what he was doing and began to sob.

     The pastor and Sheila held on to him, as Kyle and Ben watched with compassion.  "I'm sorry Sheila!  Why would anyone choose something, other than God, over their children?  Aunt Rita and I have talked about this, but I really still feel very angry.  I don't know what to do"!, Drew admitted.  Pastor Manuel shared with all of them about forgiveness at that time.  Sheila also mentioned that she wanted to stay until Sunday, and go to church with the Bartholomews.  They all agreed.  Drew realized he needed to let go of what his parents had done and forgive them.  Pastor Manuel went straight to the source.  "The cross".  He told them all that had happened leading up to being nailed to the cross.  The bloody beatings, the accusations, the spitting and the mocking.  And what did Jesus do?  He forgave them.  They all laid hands on Drew and prayed.  Drew cried like he had not cried since he was little.  He struggled with it and continued sobbing.  Sheila wept too because her situation was not like his, but she felt like he feels and empathized with him.

     Drew stopped sobbing and praying.  He got up and paced around the room, as they all carefully watched him.  "OK, Lord!  You think I should forgive a person or people who treat me like I'm nothing?  Fine!  But I can't do it without You!  Please help me to forgive"!, Drew cried out.  Everyone was looking at Drew, concerned.  They waited for his sobbing to stop.  A few minutes later, Drew stopped crying, looked up to Heaven and thanked God.  He smiled at all of them and they hugged him.  It was such a great relief to know that he could forgive and feel the release of pain, through His Lord.  They had to sit down and make a plan.  It was Saturday.  Tomorrow they were going to visit the Baptist church with the Bartholomews, then they had to decide what to do next.  The news was buzzing loudly around town about the missing kids.  They discussed whether to stay in the happy hollow until they could fix the situation, or run again.  They were all tired of running, and they all wanted to call home.  That night, everyone slept soundly, knowing Jesus was taking care of them and showing them the way.

Part 11 will be coming soon.  Thank you for your patience.  I am writing when I am able, though not as often as I'd like.  God bless.